Nurses on the Isle of Man are being asked to vote on a 6% pay rise offer, just a couple of months after agreeing a deal for the previous financial year.
Over the next two weeks, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will hold a consultative ballot with its members employed by Manx Care, which runs health services on the island, on the proposed pay deal for 2023-24.
“We hope this time, we can get to a resolution on their pay much quicker”
This offer is separate from the one RCN members voted to accept in November. That offer, of a 6% pay rise, plus an additional £1,500 per person, was for 2022-23.
The new offer, tabled by Manx Care at the end of January 2024, would be added on top, and nurses would be backpaid to April 2023.
RCN North West, which represents nurses on the Isle of Man, has not made a recommendation about the pay offer.
However, the branch said it was “concerned” the offer did not specify if nurses who have left Manx Care since April 2023 would receive back-pay for the months they served in that time.
Estephanie Dunn, regional director for RCN North West, said nurses on the Isle of Man were still playing “catch-up” due to the slow progress of pay negotiations.
She said: “It feels strange to be back out surveying members so soon after agreeing the last pay offer however, this new offer is for a different pay year as we’re still playing catch-up.
“We are not recommending how members should vote but we are asking that they do vote. It is up to members whether they think the offer is acceptable, or not.”
RCN members on the island took strike action last year over the 2022-23 pay deal, after rejecting an initial offer which one union representative described as an “insult” to nurses.
Though these strikes centred around pay, staff took the chance to air concerns over other workforce issues like working hours, recruitment and the wellbeing of nursing staff.
Ms Dunn aired optimism that the 2023-24 pay dispute would go more smoothly.
She added: “The last pay offer took so long to agree and resulted in strike action, however it was down to our members taking this action that we finally got a better resolution for all employees at Manx Care.
“We hope this time, we can get to a resolution on their pay much quicker.”
The survey, the results of which are not binding for the RCN, opened on 31 January and will close at 12pm on Wednesday, 14 February.
A spokesperson for Manx Care confirmed that the offer was made, but made no further comment.